UN Women Singapore Strives for Equality

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SINGAPORE — Since its inception in 2010, the Singapore Committee for  U.N. Women has made great headway in achieving the 5th U.N. Sustainable Development goal. After the merger between organizations within the United Nations, the outreach of U.N. Woman steadily grew.

As a featured writer for the Borgen Project, I recently got the opportunity to interview and interact with the Singapore Committee for U.N. Women and participate in a volunteering initiative. The experience helped me develop a unique outlook with regards to their regional presence and beneficiaries, and their initiatives and collaborations.

Unfortunately, trafficking is a lucrative mainstay business in South East Asia, particularly in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Unbeknownst to many, Singapore has also become one of the primary destinations for human trafficking in the region.

With program offices and national committees scattered all over the world to combat trafficking, sex slavery, domestic abuse and exploitation, U.N. Women strives for equality through its collaborations with various businesses, charities and NGOs.

The Singapore Committee for U.N. Women has a strong partnership with Mastercard. It is an integral part of their advocacy efforts and a cornerstone of their structure as an organization. This initiative draws in entrants from over 70 countries.

Amid the atmosphere of globalization and awareness of ethical corporate practices, firms who locate to developing countries recognize the vitality of adhering to these practices. Thus, the Singapore Committee for U.N. Women strives for equality in this realm by working with firms to combat trafficking internally.

Their work with AWARE and Project X have further helped to combat the threat of human trafficking into Singapore and the protection of foreign domestic workers.

The Singapore Committee for U.N. Women strives for equality for women from all socio-economic backgrounds. The SNOW (Say no to the oppression of women) Gala, Buy to Save are fundraising events. 80 percent of the funds are dedicated towards local projects like Help Anna and Girls2Pioneers, while the remaining 20 percent is channeled towards supporting regional beneficiaries. This move has greatly bolstered the strength and outreach of the Roka Commune.

This particular initiative helps in the provision of vocational training and education for girls who grapple with the threat of HIV in Roka, Cambodia. In 2015 alone, 9,000 individuals were reached.

Also, U.N. Women has reached 10,000 individuals in Karenni refugee camp. Other notable regional beneficiaries include the Bamboo Project in Kampong Chhnang and the Safe Cities Program in Manila, which addresses the issue of domestic violence and exploitation in urban cities. This particular effort has reached 2 million people.

Similarly, The Bamboo Project is a key action plan to safeguard the livelihoods of the small-scale bamboo producers in the rural areas of the Kampong Chhnang Producer Association.

The He for She campaign is also a pioneering initiative that is currently garnering the support of many universities and celebrities all over the world. It was established with the objective of including men and boys in the campaign to advocate for more equality for women over the world.

Advocacy is a very important component in the initiatives of the Singapore Committee for U.N. Women. Project INSPIRE and Project ASPIRE are two local effective social entrepreneurship challenges for the youth to express their ideas regarding social enterprises that uplift women and girls.

Along with encouraging more entrepreneurship and building up a social enterprise framework, the organization provides training and creates new marketing avenues for the people. This solution is predicted to alleviate the burden of negotiating with middlemen, bribery and exploitation of their produce.

Emma Watson, the goodwill ambassador of this sweeping movement, contributes greatly towards transcending awareness. Paving the way for more equality and social issues revolving around women in different communities is now actively discussed in the General Assembly. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently declared his support for the campaign too.

“There are so many dimensions to poverty and people are so vulnerable. Don’t suffer in silence. If you educate a woman, you educate a mother, sister and a daughter. A mother in a rural community can contribute to nearly 80 percent of her family’s income”, says Ms. Mrinalini, the Head of Public Awareness and Youth Initiatives for the Singapore Committee for U.N. Women.

Mrinalini also highlighted some of the major achievements of different program offices, especially in India where U.N. Women works to ensure social and political inclusion in Panchayats, the village councils.

With an outreach of 32,000 women regionally and a global mobilization stronghold of nearly 116,000 individuals, the Singapore Committee for U.N.Women protects and advances the women of an entire region.

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About Author

Shivani Ekkanath

Shivani is an Indian writer for The Borgen Project living in Singapore. Her hobbies are music, dance and writing. She loves reading about current affairs, political relations and other social issues.

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